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Slaying the Vritra is the final scenario of the Rajendra campaign in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Dynasties of India. It depicts the Chola-Khmer invasion of Srivijaya.

Intro[]

The Empire of Srivijaya has ruled the Straits of Malacca for centuries. Their central position on this vital trade route has allowed them to grow wealthy and powerful beyond imagining, and now their tentacles reach into my domains.

For years, they have forced traders to make port when they pass through their waters. The trade ships now ignore our harbors and the Srivijayan emperor Sangrama is taking all of the riches that once ended up in our coffers.

So far, I have been too preoccupied to challenge him, but this new status quo cannot be allowed to stand.

I have decided to invade Srivijaya. It will be a military operation on a scale never seen before: a thousand ships and a million men, crossing the ocean to deal death to this empire of middlemen.

I have contended with empires before, but none of them hold a candle to the Srivijaya. Their navy dominates the eastern seas and their fortresses are guarded by undefeated armies.

For the first time in years, I doubt whether I can outmatch my opponent; but if I am to secure my legacy, I must strike hard and give them no time to prepare. This war will either be my undoing or propel me to the greatness that I have dreamed of. It is a gamble that I must make; for he who dares at all must dare it all.

Thus I go to slay my Vritra.

Scenario instructions[]

Starting conditions[]

Objectives[]

Main objectives[]

  • Establish a beachhead by capturing one of the Castles marked on the minimap. To capture a Castle, you must damage it until it has only 1,000 HP left.
    • Capture 6 of the 6 Castles marked on the minimap. To capture a Castle, you must damage it until it only has 1, 000 HP left.
    • At least one Castle must always remain under your control.

Secondary objectives[]

  • Defeat Tambralinga so that your ally Suryavarman can aid you in the war against Srivijaya.
  • Capture local villages to deprive the Srivijaya of resources and take them for yourself. To capture a village, you must damage its central Fortified Tower until it only has 1,000 HP left.
  • Improve army morale by using Rajendra in combat. This takes the form of extra attack points for all of your soldiers, which are lost if Rajendra is unhorsed (killed).

Hints[]

  1. Rajendra can support a population of 200 that does not require Houses to maintain, but cannot produce any Villagers or troops until a town is conquered. Castles cannot be constructed, only captured.
  2. The Srivijaya are not prepared for an invasion on this scale. You can take advantage of their slowness to react for a time, but sooner or later they will strike back-and hard!
  3. You can order the Chola Navy to attack in specific locations by placing flares on the map. The navy will be reinforced with new ships from India from time to time.
  4. Your Khmer ally Suryavarman is embroiled in a war against the Tambralinga kingdom in the north. If you help him defeat the Tambralinga, he will be able to aid you in your invasion of Srivijaya. You can coordinate your attack with him by taunting 31, provided you have defeated Tambralinga. 5. Much of Srivijaya's wealth comes from the local villages that they control. Capturing these will deprive them of resources, which you can then use yourself.
  5. You can also raid enemy supply depots (Trade Workshops) if you need resources quickly. Raided villages will no longer provide you with tribute.

Scouts[]

Your scouts report:

  • Rajendra (1, Red) has arrived in Srivijaya waters at the head of a massive Chola navy (2, Green), seeking to take advantage of the Srivijaya's unpreparedness and establish a beachhead from which to launch a full-scale invasion of the archipelago.
  • Srivijaya (4. Blue) is a vast empire with the island of Sumatra at its core. While initially passive, as it is not expecting an invasion of this size, this fierce opponent will eventually be stirred into action. Srivijaya has a powerful navy but will mainly defend itself on land with armies of infantry, Arbalesters and Battle Elephants.
  • Sailendra (5, Purple) is an eastern province of the Srivijayan empire. Rumor has it that they are more prepared for war than other parts of the empire. If it decides to oppose you, it will primarily attack with a vast navy of Galleons, Fire Ships and Cannon Galleons.
  • To the north, on the Malay peninsula, your ally Suryavarman (3, Cyan) is waging war on the Tambralinga kingdom (6, Orange). The two will focus on fighting each other, but should you help take out the Tambralinga, Suryavarman will deploy his powerful army and navy to assist in your conquest of Srivijaya.
  • Spread out across the island of Sumatra are various local villages (7, Grey) controlled by the Srivijaya. By capturing the towers in each Village, you can claim the resources that these locals produce.

Players[]

Player[]

  • Player (Dravidians): The player starts in the west of the map and is prepared to invade the Srivijayan island of Sumatra.

Allies[]

  • The Chola Navy (Dravidians): will mainly be composed of a huge fleet of Thirisadai, Galleons, and Fast Fire Ships that will spawn periodically in the west of the map. They will move to where the player signals a flare, and attack nearby enemies.
  • Suryavarman (Khmer): has set a foothold on Tambralinga land. They will help the player defeat the Srivijaya only after Tambralinga is defeated.

Neutral[]

  • Local Villages (Malay): are passive, but will feed the player with resources if they are defended.

Enemies[]

  • Srivijaya (Malay): is the main enemy in this scenario. They have many Castles scattered throughout the Island, and one base on Tambralinga land. They will attack aggressively with Galleons, Fast Fire Ships, and Demolition Ships on sea. On land, they train Karambit Warriors, Two-Handed Swordsmen, Archers, Battle Elephants, Capped Rams, and Trebuchets.
  • Sailendra (Malay): has a base east of the map. They will relentlessly attack the player with many Galleons, Fast Fire Ships, and Demolition Ships.
  • Tambralinga (Khmer): has a base to the north. They do not pose much of a threat and will resign when their Castle is destroyed.

Strategy[]

Land-based conquest[]

The player begins with a huge navy and has to start by capturing a Castle in order to secure a foothold on Sumatra. The westmost town is the most sensible option, since the straits are heavily guarded by Srivijayan warships. Send the Armored Elephants to reduce the Castle to 1,000 hit points while the other units work on the enemy forces. Once the player gains control of the town, start building an economy and army quickly. The first few minutes is peaceful, but later the battle will be a very intense one. The chaos will begin when Srivijaya taunts the player, and starts sending a huge armada to attack the player from the sea.

The player will have to maintain multiple Castles simultaneously. Since the player cannot build any more Castles, Bombard Towers with forward military production buildings is the only sensible option. Remember to queue up units in the military buildings, and warships from the Docks. The player should claim another Castle, to the south of Sumatra, before sending an raiding party north to deal with Tambralinga. Sailendra will also start attacking the player with their own fleet, aggressively. The Castles of Tambralinga and Sailendra will also count as a Castle captured by the player. Tambralinga will fall easily to some elephant units. Once Tambralinga is down, the player should take the Srivijayan Castle on the Tambralinga land. Be aware though, that once the player captures 4 Castles, Srivijaya and Sailendra will attack the player even more aggressively than before.

The push will be rather slow. Since there is a small body of water mainland, the player should build a Dock with some warships to intercept Srivijayan land troops attempting an attack on the player. While the warships are routing the land units, the player should constantly go on the offensive with forward bases and many military units if they want to turn the tide of this heated battle. Sriviaya will keep sending land units to attack the player until they run out of gold, making the scenario easier later on. The only units they will train are Karambit Warriors, Two-Handed Swordsmen (Forced Levy removes the gold cost), and sometimes Battle Elephants.

Once the player gains the upper hand, they can then send another raiding party to claim the Castle opposite the Srivijayan Castle on Tambralinga land. As 5 Castles have been captured, the heat is pretty much over. The player can take their time to prepare an army to take the last castle in the Srivijayan capital. Once the last Castle is taken, the player is victorious!

Sea-based conquest[]

Alternately, the player can send the entire Chola Navy plus any warships the player has towards the massive Srivijayan Navy waiting just off Suryavarman's coast. While the navies are sacrificed to distract the enemy, the player should unload all units from the Transport Ships and move them to a safe place. If the player tries to unload the ships without sending in the navies to distract the enemy, the landing will come under fire, resulting in the loss of the (arguably) more important land units.

While it might seem reckless, there are two good reasons why this strategy can work. Attacking immediately will allow the player to coincide with Suryavarman's push towards the Tambralinga Castle, allowing the Castle to be taken down with minimal casualties - and fall into the hands of the player. Suryavarman's forces will react by immediately assist the player in taking down the Srivijayan Castle slightly east of Tambralinga. Control of these two castles will allow the player to quickly establish a safe trading route with Suryavarman's nearby port.

The western of the two Castles now under the player's control will bear the brunt of enemy attacks. Occasionally, ships will slip past the range of the Castle and attack the Trade Cogs, but a few properly-positioned Keeps will suffice to neutralize their threat. Subsequently, all the player needs to do is to ensure that the western Castle is garrisoned with archers, and that there is sufficient stone to repair the second Castle. The player may choose to build Keeps next to the Castle for additional protection, but note that should the Castle fall, the Keeps will switch over to enemy control - and remain in enemy control even after it is retaken. Hence, the player is not advised to build too many of them, or none at all.

Depending on the RNG of the enemy AI, occasional transports with Trebuchet(s) in them may (but may not) land near the western Castle to attack it. Thus the player should keep about 5 Trebuchets on standby to retake the Castle immediately. Note, however, that doing so could instantly deplete the HP of the Castle to 0, and thus become permanently destroyed - and hence unusable. However, the quest indicator will indicate that that the Castle has reverted back to the player's control. And since there is no longer a standing Castle to recapture, this control should be permanent.

While this might look like a loss, it might actually be a good thing. The area between the two Castles is actually more defensible than the western Castle itself. The reason for that is that in order to reach the area between the two Castles, the enemy AI sends them in a long, strung-out convoy towards the Castle (and the intercepting Keeps), rather than try to attack it from multiple sides. This means that the defensive structures only need to deal with 1-2 warships at a time. Hence, unlike the western Castle, the Keeps will not suffer much damage from attacks via the sea. Hence, some players would find it preferable to simply let the Castle fall repeatedly and bombard it with Trebuchets again and again to trigger the glitch.

If the glitch is successfully triggered, about 6 Keeps placed between the two castles (near where the Tambralinga Town Center was) will suffice.

Next, the player should research Elite Cannon Galleon, then accumulate wood and gold. Food and land-based units are entirely optional from this point on. The player should only gather enough of it for University and Dock upgrades, the Bracers upgrade from the Blacksmith, and any Villagers the player wishes to train. Finally, when the player has collected sufficient wood and gold, amass the maximum amount of ships possible. There should be about 15 Elite Cannon Galleons, with the rest comprising of shorter-ranged warships. Using these warships, the player should cut a path all the way to the east of the map, and take down the Sailendra Castle. Once that is done, Sailendra will resign, and with it, half of all the ships that the enemy will spawn against the player.

The Sailendra Castle is extremely defensible. Due to the size of the island, enemy Trebuchets cannot attack the Castle unless they land on the island itself, while ships attacking the Castle fall within its attack range. All the player needs to do is to guard against Trebuchets that do land on the island itself. The other structures on Sailendra are non-essential and can be sacrificed. Once Sailendra falls, the the player's navy and the allied Chola Navy will quickly dominate the seas. The player can now destroy all enemy Docks before using the Elite Cannon Galleons to take down the remaining Castles.

Outro[]

The fires of Srivijaya still raged as we celebrated our victory in the Imperial Palace. Emperor Sangrama and his officials were invited to publicly swear fealty to me. To a man, they all proclaimed their love for their new ruler. Love, indeed, for all hatred had been beaten out of them. For the first time in decades, I felt perfectly calm. I knew then that my transformation was complete.

I had proven my father right and built an empire that spans across oceans. I had unleashed the greatness within me and overcome all of my childish delusions.

In doing so, I had learned one great truth: that there is no such thing as corruption. It is only what the weak call the will of the strong - and I am no longer weak.

The child within me is dying. The man has taken its place.

The serpent writhes and withers away, slain by the hero's hand, and the captive waters rush out into the world once more.

So ends the tale of Indra and the Vritra...

...and so ends the tale of Rajendra Chola.

Trivia[]

  • Slaying the Vritra deals with the conquest of the empire of Srivijaya and Tambralinga in 1025, previously seen in Challenging a Thalassocracy, but now from the point of view of Rajendra and the Cholas.
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